UJ hopefuls prepare for all-nighter

2011-01-11 14:35

Thousands of students, some from as far as Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West, were waiting in a long queue in a bid to apply for admission to the University of Johannesburg (UJ) today.

Tired students claimed they had been at the campus since around 6am.

“I’m losing hope as I look at the long queue, I don’t even know where it starts,” said Vaza Chabalala (18) who sat with his bags surveying the long queue.

Chabalala passed his matric last year at Risinga High School and hopes to study Biomedical Technology.

He arrived from Giyani in Limpopo yesterday and slept at a friend’s flat.

A determined Chantell Peinaar (18), who completed her matric at Marist Brothers in Linmeyer, Johannesburg, was turned away yesterday and told to return today.

She said: “Today I’m going to sleep here, the McDonald’s is open 24-hours so I’ll have my dinner here.

I have hope that maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to submit my application.”

She applied for a BComm Law degree but since there were no more spots left in the course she decided to apply for journalism.

Johanna Ntsie (19) from Mathibestad in North West said: “I doubt if I’ll reach the front, I might have to come back tomorrow and earlier than this.”

As the crowd jostled to get to the front a group of muscular men in sleeveless T-shirts kept a watchful eye on the crowd and maintained order.

Some tired students sat on the pavement while a few had brought their own camping chairs.

UJ spokesperson Herman Esterhuizen said the situation at the Doorfontein, Bunting Road and Soweto campuses was not as bad as the Kingsway Campus.

He said: “We have put extra security measures in place, including police, metro police and campus security to avoid the chaos that happened yesterday.”

He said if by 4pm the queue is still long those waiting will be asked to come back tomorrow.

UJ’s registrar, Professor Marie Muller, told Sapa the flurry of late applications could be attributed to the greater number of National Senior Certificate holders in Gauteng that obtained university admission in last year’s exams, compared with the previous year.

Muller said most of the students were first-time applicants.

Some had applied with their Grade 11 results last year, were rejected, but fared better in their matric exams and were trying to get in on the strength of those results.

Around two thirds of the late applicants may not be accepted, she said.

Muller said even if these students complied with the minimum requirements for their chosen field, they may not necessarily get in.

“We have limited space,” she said.

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